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post Mar 19 2019, 10:11 AM

Posts: 1
Joined: 13-March 19

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this so if there is another, better place, please feel free to move this thread.
nyway, I am looking at getting Microsoft Certified in both Excel and Access (for starters), but do not really live very closely to any physical schools where I can attend a course that would prep me for the certification exam. I have looked around online, even the microsoft website, but there is a bit if maze of different publications to consider and I want to be able to find something I can do at my own pace, and will prepare me well for the exams.
Suggestions, thoughts? smile.gif
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post Apr 25 2019, 10:57 PM

Posts: 3,704
Joined: 27-February 09

Tina's advice is spot on. learning database design and normalization is hard. (I would be a whole lot harder than most people think it is.) You have to work at it, because there are parts of it that are not at all intuitive. If you put in enough work, the "rules" (Normal forms) make a lot more sense. The good thing about learning the "rules" is that they apply to any relational database engine (Access, Oracle, SQL Server, etc), so you can practice on Access and then later learn SQL Server (it's a steep learning curve, but doable).
I've had to work on "databases" that were designed by people that didn't understand how to apply the Normal forms, and it was a real mess. And the sad thing was that if they designed properly to begin with, I could have done the job in maybe two days. The theory part helps a lot because you come to understand what will work and, maybe more importantly, designs that will not work, and how to fix them. takes a fair amount of work, but it's absolutely worth it.

I had to take one of those silly Access "tests" before they would interview me for that job - and the questions were, in my opinion, not really indicative of whether the test taker really understood what goes into creating a well-designed database. The test was stupid easy, and completely worthless - they assume an ideal world and usually an existing properly designed database. And when things are not designed properly, you need to understand (1) what's wrong, (2) WHY it's wrong, and (3) how to fix it. And all those pointy-clicky tests don't even come close to testing that. For my money, I could care less if you knew where all the features are hiding. I would be much more interested in knowing if you know how and more importantly when to use things.
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post Apr 26 2019, 06:20 AM

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Not sure if they have changed, but it was mostly Access specific stuff, not so much relational database design. Things like to get a link to an external excel file, what menu option would you use.

Oof, these tests are even more lame than I thought.

For my 2 cents.
I have zero certifications. But an in a high paying role as a C# developer in a flagship robotics team for one of the biggest media companies in the world. I started off just messing around with VBA and used it to make my job easier and built on that over the past 10 years. I also got lucky with some job opportunities tongue.gif

I would disagree that proper relational design is so hard and counter intuitive but do recognise alot of people struggle with it.

I think it boils down to if you want to learn, forget these courses as there are better avenues, if you want to flesh out your CV, which is certainly worthwhile and could make the difference to getting an interview. Go for it.
If you set out with those expectations clear I think you'll know if its worthwhile or not.
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post Apr 26 2019, 09:23 AM

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Joined: 30-June 11

HR people do look at these, if you have them. I've consulted with a couple HR departments in companies and was floored at how they had no clue what these titles/abbreviations stood for, nor had any concept of their value, or not. So if you want to do this for 'hireability' then go for it, it cannot hurt.

If you want to learn, then the certifications won't help. You are best to read, review demos, look at the UA Code Archive for instance, ... that's were you'll learn the most. Also, be very careful with Microsoft templates as historically many are horribly designed (they have improved though)! If you are simply looking to learn, start with http://www.UtterAccess.com/forum/Newcomer-...t-t1998783.html

@JonSmith -
I would disagree that proper relational design is so hard and counter intuitive
What I've found is you either have this ability or you don't. For some of us it is obvious just looking at the data, and for others they could analyze the data for weeks and still be no further ahead. (Just like some people are artists, musician, ...and others not) It's an ability that some people are gifted with.

Daniel Pineault (2010-2019 Microsoft MVP, UA VIP, EE Distinguished Expert 2018)
Professional Help: https://www.cardaconsultants.com
Free MS Access Code, Tips, Tricks and Samples: https://www.devhut.net

* Design should never say "Look at me". It should always say "Look at this". -- David Craib
* A user interface is like a joke, if you have to explain it, it's not that good! -- Martin LeBlanc

All code samples, demonstration databases, links,... are provided 'AS IS' and are to be used at your own risk! Take the necessary steps to check, validate ...(you are responsible for your choices and actions)
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post Apr 26 2019, 09:34 AM

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Posts: 4,073
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Quite right Daniel, thats kind of my point.

For me, spoken languages are hard, I live in the Netherlands though and interact with a huge variety of nationalities here. It amazes me sometimes how easily some people can speak so many languages fluently and effortlessly.
Same with music.

So my point is more that, in the same way we don't say learning a language is hard or learning music is hard I feel the same caveat applies to relational design.
Some of us can naturally pick it up, some need to work abit but can get it and well some data engineers, you wonder how they ever got qualified cause they are clearly clueless and will never get it.

I think making out that its so hard can deter some people so trying to avoid that! Try it out, see if it makes sense to you!!
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